Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Best SSD 2017: Top solid state drives for gaming


Buying an SSD can be a bit of a headache when you’re constantly being bombarded with such friendly terms as mSATA and M.2 this, and NVMe and PCIe that, which is why we’re here to help you pick the best SSD for you and your budget. Below, you’ll find our current top picks as well as in-depth buying advice on how to pick your next SSD. Whether it’s for general performance or the fastest speeds money can buy, we’ve got you covered.

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Black Friday 2017: Best graphics card deals

You can’t seem to go three days in November without some big, new AAA game being released, so if your PC’s been struggling to play the likes of Assassin’s Creed Origins, Nioh, Wolfenstein II or Middle-earth: Shadow of War recently, you’re in luck. For at the end of this week – November 24th, to be precise – it’s Black Friday, the time of year when graphics card prices plummet and you can nab yourself a bit of a bargain.

As it turns out, though, most retailers have started their Black Friday deals early, so you can grab yourself a bargain literally this second if you don’t want to wait until the big day itself. We’ll be regularly updating this article throughout the week with all the best deals, so why not pop it in your bookmarks and give a check every now and again?

If cheap graphics cards isn’t what you’re looking for, we’ll be updating our main Black Friday hub page multiple times over the course of this week as well, so do check that out, too. You might also want to take a look at our dedicated Black Friday monitor hub as well while you’re at it, as there’s nothing like buying a brand-new display to show off a fresh graphics card.

If you spot a deal that isn’t listed below, please do let us know in the comments and we’ll get it added to the list. In the meantime, happy hunting!

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Have You Played… Crysis 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Everything that Crysis 1 did right, Crysis 2 threw away. Combat scenarios set in open areas you could approach your own way? Gone. Destructible buildings and AI smart enough to navigate it? Gone. Unique, jungle setting? Gone. The resulting game is poorer in every conceivable way. Read the rest of this entry »

Best graphics cards 2017 for 1080p, 1440p and 4K gaming

Best graphics cards 2017

There are almost too many top graphics cards to choose from, which is why this here article is all about identifying the single best GPU you can get for playing games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K. Read on for advice on what to pick and how to pick your next graphics card. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Friday 2017: Best monitor deals

Black Friday 2017 is well and truly underway, so it you’ve been thinking about buying a new monitor for Christmas or simply upgrading your current setup to something a bit more substantial, now’s the time to get one. Here are the best Black Friday monitor deals we’ve found so far.

Whether you’re looking for a great Full HD screen, one with a high refresh rate for super smooth gaming or a fancy curved panel, we’ve got you covered. Black Friday is also a great time to think about jumping up to either a 2560×1440 monitor or one that supports 4K, as you won’t find cheaper prices than these any time soon. If this is the case, you might also want to check out our dedicated Black Friday graphics card hub while you’re here, just in case your current card is looking a bit tired and in need of a refresh.

If you also spot a deal that isn’t featured here, then let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the list. We’ll be keeping track of more deals across all of PC gaming over in our main Black Friday hub, but for now, let’s dive straight on in the world of display deals.

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Black Friday 2017: The best deals on graphics cards, monitors, SSDs and more

1080ti

The sale event to end all sale events is here. That’s right, folks, Black Friday 2017 is upon us, and this year’s sales frenzy is set to be bigger than ever as we head into the Christmas shopping period. In all honesty, they should just rename it Black November, as you’ll find deals happening literally RIGHT NOW in the run-up to Black Friday proper.

To save you trawling through the web in search of a good bargain, we’ve created this handy guide containing everything you need to know about Black Friday 2017. If you’re on the hunt for a new graphics card, a bigger and better monitor, splash out on a fast SSD or upgrade your gaming headset, this is the place to be. We’ll be updating this hub page on a regular basis as new deals get announced, too, so make sure to keep it in your bookmarks if you fancy grabbing yourself a bit of a bargain before Christmas. We’ve also got tips on the best places to browse, and how to find out if those hot discounts are really as good as they seem.

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Wot I Think: Outcast – Second Contact

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Despite growing up in the ‘90s, I had never heard of Outcast. And as someone who loves open-world exploration, I don’t share that fact proudly. I’ve only ever known the shinier counterparts of last century’s genre defining titles, growing up with games like Bioshock, Fallout, and Wolfenstein, whose decades-old predecessors continue to influence modern gaming conventions. As such, I was a blank slate coming into the recently released Outcast – Second Contact, a remake of the 1999 cult classic.

What I discovered was a strange amalgam of new and old. Second Contact looks great and it’s a clear precursor to the open world games that came later, but how does it all hold together without the rose-tinted lens of nostalgia to cover its weaknesses?

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When is it OK to remake a classic game?

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Adventure game remakes are common. But not everyone likes to see their old favourites revived. Mitch Kocen asked veteran point-and-clickmen Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, among others, when they think it’s OK to remaster the classics

Without intervention, every video game you have ever loved will eventually become unplayable. The technology that enables the next generation of games cripples the last. At some point, systems simply can’t run slowly enough to support games made decades prior. For many years, it wasn’t possible to (legally) play older games without digging out the old computer gathering dust in your basement. Fortunately, there is a resurgence of classic games on modern hardware. These re-releases often come with new (or improved) graphics and sound, and sometimes include the option to view the game in its original form. Yet some creators are concerned that these changes compromise the game’s original artistic vision. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Total War: Rome 2 – Empire Divided

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How can a historical Total War compete with dinosaurs besieging a fortress filled with wraiths and shambling corpses? Ever since the launch of Total War: Warhammer, but even more since the arrival of Warhammer 2, I’ve been wondering if Creative Assembly has backed itself into a corner. Total War’s historical games will undoubtedly continue to appeal to those craving a more grounded strategy romp, but so many of the series’ most significant improvements are inextricably linked to a fantasy premise. So where does that leave Total War: Rome 2 – Empire Divided?

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Have you played… Shootmania?

Shoot the man, yeah!

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Shootmania: Storm was an athletic multiplayer shooter. You moved fast, you jumped far and you only had two types of gun (one of which only appeared when you stood on a certain type of platform). It was about skill, not gear. Everyone died in the same number of hits, everyone had the same powers. People use “esport” to describe Dota 2, Call of Duty and Overwatch. I don’t think Shootmania matches those in terms of quality but I’d argue it was far more sportsmanlike, because it had symmetry. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Radeon RX 580 review: Our top pick for 1440p gaming

AMD RX 580

Now that the RX 580, AMD’s patriarch of the Polaris architecture family, is finally back in stock and at reasonable prices, it’s time to reconsider its viability as the centrepiece of a mid-range build. For those unaware, the RX 580 comes in both 4GB and 8GB VRAM flavours. I’m covering the latter here, and it’s hard to make an argument as to why you’d consider the former: it’s not that much cheaper, but does essentially cut you off from the flashiest graphical stuff (like Ultra-high quality textures) in games which support them. Having less memory can also generally scupper you when running with higher resolutions, and considering that the RX 580 appears to have been made with 1440p firmly in AMD’s collective mind, 8GB just makes more sense.

Once again, it’s an Asus ROG Strix OC Edition I’m testing, though since the overclock in question has such a tiny boost speed upgrade from 1340MHz to a maximum of 1380MHz, it should be representative of most partner-made RX 580s. This costs £330, which is a lot considering MSI, Gigabyte and XFX all have alternative models for around £280 or less. Here, however, you do get three fans, a sturdy backplate and an extra HDMI port for VR kit for your trouble.

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AMD Radeon RX 570 review: An all-round 1080p card

AMD RX 570

Back during the Great Mining Drought of a couple of months ago-ish, the RX 570 looked like the saving grace of AMD’s ludicrously price-inflated Radeon lineup. Admittedly, this was mainly due to the 8GB RX 580 being hurled violently though the £300 barrier, but even with fewer ‘stream processors’ (i.e. cores) and just 4GB of memory, the RX 570 was offering another FreeSync-enabled, 1080p/1440p alternative at a much, much lower price.

Now that the whole cryptocurrency thing has (mostly) died down, however, the RX 580 is in a much better position to not just resume its jostling with Nvidia’s GTX 1060 for mid-range supremacy, but also to relegate the RX 570 back to the status of an awkward middle child: not powerful enough to consider over these other two cards (4K, for instance, is beyond it), and too expensive to consider over budget alternatives like the RX 560 and GTX 1050 Ti. Can the RX 570 still justify itself?

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Premature Evaluation: Deep Sky Derelicts

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This week’s Premature Evaluation sees Fraser exploring rusty spaceships and beating up robots for cash in sci-fi tactics RPG Deep Sky Derelicts.

My first crew, The Fun Time Club, got deep inside an ancient space wreck without too much trouble, but overconfidence breeds recklessness. A fight with a trio of psychotic robot janitors exhausted them so much that they couldn’t get back to their ship. They died forgotten in some unremarkable corridor. Their successors, The Revenginators, didn’t even get that far, failing to live up to their awful name by immediately getting turned into lunch by some ravenous space worms.

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The Joy Of Absolver’s social fight clubs

My career in Street Fighter was a painfully short-lived experience. For a long time, I’d been trying to find a fighting game to really get into and to help me understand a genre I’d always been quietly interested in but entirely apart from. After being gifted Ultra Street Fighter 4 back in 2014, I was quickly hooked on the technical mastery and quick action – a few runs of Arcade, and I was even starting to feel competent. But getting good at Street Fighter, or any traditional fighting game, requires a strong level of commitment: lonely hours spent mastering frame data, grinding against opponents and the local competition. After a disastrous showing at a Dundee tournament, I was out.

Fighting games, I figured, just weren’t for me – until Absolver came around.

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Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is great! No, it isn’t.

I am in two minds about Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2. It is a phenomenally dense and ridiculous playground of Traveller’s Tales at their finest. And it’s a buggy, opaque and disjointed mess of haphazard controls and direction. And I’ve no idea which one is right. It’s me. Or it’s me. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… SUPERHOT VR?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Here’s the point where I usually say “so VR didn’t pan out like we’d hoped, eh?” and then people who really like VR go “hey, stop that!”. So this time, I won’t, and instead will say: here’s a really, really cool VR game. SUPERHOT VR. Read the rest of this entry »

How Total War: Warhammer’s Mortal Empires engineers a world of unending war

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Total War: Warhammer’s Mortal Empires campaign [official site].

Mortal Empires is the logical conclusion of Total War: Warhammer. It asks this: what happens if all the races, factions, legendary lords and terrain of both Total War: Warhammer and its sequel were folded together into a single giant campaign? The answer was released in October as a free addition to owners of the two games, and it is, as game director Ian Roxborough tells me, “By far the biggest, most content-rich campaign that we’ve ever done in Total War.”

But how do you make games that are designed to be played both in discrete and distinctive smaller chunks, and also in huge and unified ones? How do you balance Warhammer’s strongly asymmetric races against each other while continually adding more? And how do you make a game as big as Mortal Empires comprehensible and playable at all? Read the rest of this entry »

For Honor needs more than new warriors to stay alive

Ded

There goes my head again. Rolling along the ground like a wet turnip. The ahistorical three-sided war of For Honor has always been a tough battleground. During a recent free weekend, it became a conflict not only between Vikings, Samurai and Knights, but between practiced veterans and absolute newcomers. I’m somewhere in between. A mediocre warrior returning to the fighting pits after a long absence, a little slower and flabbier than before. Two new heroes were also added to the game recently – the bloodthirsty Shaman and sword-happy Aramusha – but, as with previous additions to the roster, they don’t feel like enough to save a game with a barrel of other flaws, whose player numbers have dropped significantly since launch. I marched back into the decapitating grounds to try the new maps, modes and murderers, and spoke to the game’s director about its problems.

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Turtle Beach Recon 150 review: A no-frills gaming headset for just £40

Turtle Beach Recon 150

As my quest for a comfy pair of headphones continues, today I’m looking at one of Turtle Beach’s entry-level headsets, the Recon 150. Available for just £40, the Recon 150 is about as straightforward as gaming headsets come. Unburdened by fancy surround sound features or active noise-cancelling technology, this is very much a plug in and play kind of headset that doesn’t require any additional setup, driver downloads or any of that other annoying faff that comes with buying further up the headphone food chain. Indeed, its regular old 3.5mm jack connection means it’s just as good a fit for PC gaming as it is for consoles, giving it a welcome bit of flexibility after Sennheiser’s rather fussy work around on its more upmarket GSP 350.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a bit more from your headphones, of course, but if you’re looking to keep costs down or are simply after something simple for the kids, the Recon 150 is a great place to start. Read the rest of this entry »